- Published: Thursday, May 19, 2016 04:18 PM
“We need to do whatever we can to engage more people and give them the opportunity to exercise their rights” –State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)
SPRINGFIELD- Currently there are more than 2 million Illinoisans who are eligible to vote, but aren’t registered.
To alleviate this problem, Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) cosponsored Senate Bill 250 which would automatically register eligible citizens when they renew their drivers’ license or state ID.
“This is a simple way for us to empower more people to be active in the democratic process,” Bennett said. “We need to do whatever we can to engage more people and give them the opportunity to exercise their rights.”
Statistics have shown currently of all voting-age eligible Illinoisans, 42 percent of black citizens, 57.8 percent of Asian citizens and 33 percent of all females are not registered.
Under current law eligible citizens are allowed to register when they renew their license or state ID. Senate Bill 250 would change the rule from an “opt-in” system where citizens have to actively register to “opt-out” where they can choose to not register to vote.
Estimates show the annual county-level costs throughout the country for voter registration is at least $1 billion or about one-third of the total county-level cost of administering elections.
Senate Bill 250 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now moves to the House for consideration.